If we strive to keep the commandments of God, there will be people that will belittle us, try to change us and persuade others to join them in their persecution. The Savior said, “ … If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; “ (John 15: 20 in the Bible). The apostle Paul said to Timothy, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution”. (2 Timothy 3: 12 in the Bible)
One Story of Persecution
Edouard Ngindu tells his true story. “Shortly after I was hired as the assistant director of a large library, my team and I began an ambitious project to digitize 37,000 books. One day my supervisor called me into his office. ‘Edouard,’ he said, ‘I’ve been invited to present our book digitization project in the United States and to solicit some new acquisitions. I’ve been asked to bring a trusted co-worker with me. I have confidence in you but not in your church. If you renounce your faith, you can come with me.’ Before I could say anything, he told me to think about it and then dismissed me. That evening, I shared with my wife what had happened. She encouraged me to have faith. The next day, I told my supervisor that I would keep my faith. He was angry and said he’d just travel alone. A year later, I had an opportunity to travel to France to receive training in library funding, acquisitions, and management. I just needed my supervisor’s approval. He said he would approve only if I denounced my faith. I again declined. He then tore up the document and threw it in my face. Sometime later my supervisor approached me again.
‘I am about to leave on another trip,’ he said. ‘You can come with me, but the condition remains the same. I will never travel with a member of your church.’ ‘I will not reject my faith,’ I said. He left without saying a word. Soon he began to talk about me to my colleagues. ‘I have offered him opportunities,’ he’d say. ‘But he has exhausted them all because of his blind faith. He is a fool.’ From then on, I became the object of mockery and contempt at work. I felt beaten down. One evening, preoccupied with this problem, I opened the Bible and read, ‘If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell’. (Matthew 5: 29 in the Bible).
If the Lord says we should get rid of something in order to save ourselves, why was I hanging on to a job that had become a danger to my spiritual well-being? The next day, I handed in my resignation.
Today, I rejoice in this choice. With courage and faith in Jesus Christ, I faced humiliation at work and temporary unemployment. My new job now provides opportunities unavailable to me before. The Lord has blessed me, and I thank Him for His kindness and His love toward me.” (Edouard Ngindu of the Republic of the Congo in the June 2020 Liahona Magazine)
The Savior’s Great Promise
The Savior made a great promise to those who hold fast their faith in Him, keep His commandments and endure to the end. “And all they who suffer persecution for my name, and endure in faith, though they are called to lay down their lives for my sake yet shall they partake of all this glory. Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full.” (Doctrine and Covenants 101: 35-36)
Reverend Billy Graham’s daughter and daughter-in-law wrote a delightful little Christian book in which they said, among other things: “Not everyone possesses boundless energy or a conspicuous talent. We are not equally blessed with great intellect or physical beauty or emotional strength. But we have all been given the same ability to be faithful.” (Ruth Bell Graham and Gigi Graham Tchividjian, Coffee and Conversation with Ruth Bell Graham and Gigi Graham Tchividjian(Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications, 1997), 106,